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One of Wellington's responsibilities as the New Zealand capital is to be the country's cultural role model, and it does this with relish. Down at the edge of windy Lambton Harbor is the city's pride and joy - Te Papa. The "Museum of New Zealand" is an innovative exhibition space where Maori, pakeha (white New Zealander) and natural histories challenge the imaginations of visitors. The city center is home to a number of other fascinating museums and galleries, including the Mediaplex, with its film archives, and the National Tattoo Museum. Wellington is also the Kiwi performing arts hub, hosting lots of live music, theater and dance venues. ...

One of Wellington's responsibilities as the New Zealand capital is to be the country's cultural role model, and it does this with relish. Down at the edge of windy Lambton Harbor is the city's pride and joy - Te Papa. The "Museum of New Zealand" is an innovative exhibition space where Maori, pakeha (white New Zealander) and natural histories challenge the imaginations of visitors. The city center is home to a number of other fascinating museums and galleries, including the Mediaplex, with its film archives, and the National Tattoo Museum. Wellington is also the Kiwi performing arts hub, hosting lots of live music, theater and dance venues. The city's exuberant nightlife qualifies as a performing art of sorts - well-groomed Wellingtonians parade their fashionability in self-conscious bars and clubs, while local cafes and restaurants often encourage patrons to adopt their artsy or formal personas. Wellington's genteel nature is reinforced by its tranquil, hilltop Botanic Gardens and the gentle journey there courtesy of an iconic cable car ride.

Paul Smitz
About the Expert

Paul Smitz has coauthored a dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet on places such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, various Pacific Islands, Prague, and Brussels.

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Paul Smitz for Triporati

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Now Happening in Wellington

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Oceania, southern part of North Island, New Zealand and southeast of Australia
  • Language: English, Maori
  • Currency: New Zealand Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The warmer months from November to April